The Addison Police Department helped a North Texas woman battling a rare form of liver cancer knock an item off her bucket list Friday when they agreed to let her ride along with an officer before hitting the gun range.
Jenny Newman, 26, said she grew up watching crime shows and reading mystery novels and wanted to get a real-life perspective of what a police officer does -- compared to what she's seen dramatized in television or film.
"I was curious to see what a typical day for a police officer looked like. Did they really run into the crazy situations I'd seen on TV? Or was it all a hoax? What really happens when an arrest is made?" Newman said.
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Newman said that though she didn't get to see any high-speed chases or standoffs while riding with officer Aaron Krause, she's come away with an appreciation that police officers are just like the rest of us -- though they have the added stress of putting themselves in harm's way, every day.
"I listened to stories outlining situations the officer had dealt with in the past. I was surprised at how much they sounded like an episode of CSI or something off of Blue Bloods. But I also learned there's a lot more paperwork than TV shows," Newman said.
Newman, whose turned 26 was last Friday, said the ride-along was a birthday surprise from a friend who set up an entire day of fun events. The ride along, including a little time with the officers at the gun range for she and her family, were all part of the plan. To cap it off, Newman was treated to dinner at Chamberlain's Fish Market Grill where Chef Richard Chamberlain prepared a special menu in her honor.
The Addison Police Department published a number of photos from the day to their Facebook page, saying it was a privilege and honor to help make one of her wishes come true.
It's always a privilege and honor for APD to help make wishes come true. Jenny is battling cancer and one of her bucket...Posted by Town of Addison Police Department on Monday, July 10, 2017
"The APD officers I met and interacted with are really good people with kind souls and I feel blessed to have met them," Newman said.
Of the cancer, Newman said she was 20 and attending Texas Christian University in 2012 when she was diagnosed with fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma, a rare form of liver cancer that shows up in adolescents and young adults who have no history of liver disease.
In the last five years, she's tried chemotherapy three times, including two clinical trials, and has also endured six surgeries to remove tumors or to remedy other complications from the cancer. The most recent surgery was last February.
Also in the last five years, Newman has graduated from TCU with a Bachelor of Science degree and Colorado State University with a Master of Science degree. She's now back in North Texas, working as a Health Fitness Specialist in Fort Worth.
With no known drugs or therapies that effectively fight her rare type of cancer, she's currently not receiving treatment.
Newman said she's waiting for other clinical trials that she may be a candidate for, but in the meantime she hopes to keep chipping away at her bucket list -- knocking off adventurous experiences like zip-lining, horseback riding or archery, or maybe just enjoying a relaxing mud bath and makeover.
One day, Newman said, she hopes to eat sushi in Japan ... maybe after flying there on a private jet. If you'd like to help make that a reality, her sister Clare started a GoFundMe account to help her sister experience all of the adventures on her bucket list. If you'd like to contribute, go here.
Online: Jenny Newman's Blog